PB October/November 2023 October/November 2023 27
eán Quinn, once worth $6bn, is a write-o ; destroyed by
bankruptcy and jail, two books (one now written by himself) and
a documentary, and his own indiscipline in business and more
recently in spinning his narrative and handling journalists. He is
the narcissistic author of his own downfall and sustained
Prejudiced national media don’t investigate
Of course the national media, indi erent to the border counties, never
warmed to the ‘greedy’ outsider with the folksy taste in card games, and
have taken an unprofessional lack of investigative interest in his narrative
about Mannok, which now runs his empire.
What really happened
So last year, Village tried to fi nd out what happened in Quinn Country. We
came to some unorthodox conclusions. Quinn’s new book sort of implies
many of the same conclusions but he just doesn’t have the wit or generosity
to make clear in the narrative the facts that should have elevated his
position or at least mitigated his ignominy.
He seems, as has been reported, to have no particular focus on, or
perhaps awareness of, the truth. Having promised that his fi rst interview
about his new now-bestselling book, Seán Quinn in my own words’ would
be with Village, he would have been better o sticking to his word. He might
have found that the truth would serve his cause better than the cascade of
media antagonism that his book brought back into the discourse. Of course,
then the media have been more than happy to run stories about his sweary
fractiousness when interviewed, to contradict Quinn’s claim never to have
had a conversation with Lunneys torturer, ‘Dublin Jimmy, and of course to
recite with dripping disdain Quinn’s denials of involvement. There is a
special face pulled by journalists who haven’t done proper research when
they are on the bandwagon and an easy target is on the run.In the latest,
probably last, round the easy target gaslit journalists, reaping the contempt
of the NUJ, and splenetically ventilated, “if you were asking would I rather
see John McCartin or Liam McCa rey [current Mannok bosses] beaten up
than Kevin Lunney then the answer is yes”.
This egocentric obnoxiousness gives the media the charter they need to
ignore allegations that Kevin Lunney was himself implicated in sabotage
and violence and — as published in the March 2022 edition of Village — that
there is extraordinary delinquency, including apparent fraud, on the part
of other board members of Mannok also. They never mention the Cavan
Fermanagh Leitrim Community Group that considers the revamped post-
Quinn operation was legally bound to deliver for it, rather than just — as it
is now clear Quinn saw it — for “Seán Quinn”. His book doesn’t even mention
Quinn Spins
Another punch-pulling book, another media
disaster for Seán Quinn: truth unclear, as
media continue recklessly to suggest
he was torture paymaster
By Michael Smith
that the community group is suing the company and its directors now it is
clear the company is being run in the interests of neither Quinn nor the
Quinn has had a year, a book and a platform of interviews to ventilate all
these issues, and hasn’t.
The counter narrative is complex and readers are invited to return to
earlier Village pieces to get the full story, insofar as we could put it together.
Despite intense scrutiny, there is no evidence of ongoing violence or
harassment and there is an alternative narrative of the causes of the earlier
violence — sabotage and beatings that pre-dated the Lunney torture. There
is no evidence of Mr Big or a ‘Paymaster’ waiting to be taken down by inept
o cialdom. This accounts for the teary-eyed self-rightousness of Seán
Quinn when addressing these particular allegations. Its sincere.
Who carried out sabotage?
A complaint to the PSNI was lodged in March 2022 by Seán and Patrick
McGovern describing acts of sabotage against the property of Mannok then
known as QIL, including an electricity substation and electricity poles, and
putting acid into machinery, between 2011 and 2014 with a view to
discouraging outside investment, and the existing outside share receivers
and management.
The substation was, suspiciously, opened by key before being blown up.
Shockingly the complaint names Gareth, Peter and Tony Lunney as
perpetrators of sabotage in the period when Kevin Lunney and the current
board were still ousted from o ce.
It claims Kevin and Tony Lunney told Bernard McGovern, a boxer and a
minor with mental health issues, to go to the Bog Road, close to the entrance
to the substation to act as a lookout.
It alleges Kevin Lunney, though less involved than some other family
members, also attended meetings about acts of sabotage and that
incentives for him and his colleagues when they became directors of QIL
were tailored to apply only in the event there were no acts of sabotage or
buyer intimidation; and that those acts duly stopped.
Bernard McGovern later beat up Kevin Lunney outside Applegreen in
Ballyconnell after his father was let go from QIL.
He was given a sentence of three and a half years from which he was
recently released. But he claims he was abused by the Lunneys during the
substation-sabotage débacle.
While some believe the appalling Lunney beating was intimidation by
people with a vested interest, others say it is because Lunney and Dublin
Jimmy fell out over a fi nancial issue or, and Quinn emphasises this, because
the perpetrators demanded the cessation of legal actions, because people
are aggrieved at the legal actions being pursued against them for their roles